Does the number of players at the table affect the effectiveness of card counting? I am a newbie to the message board and card counting. Therefore, I have been dealing myself simulated games with chips and everything @ my kitchen table. When I have played just myself and the dealer, I have been wearing it out, but whenever I deal multiple players I am getting worn out. It seems that if I start with a favorable count by the time it gets to the dealer, the count has turned unfavorable. Any comments?
You need to understand that while the count gives you information about the composition of the remaining cards, it does not tell you anything about the order. In other words, even though both sets of cards have the same composition, AJQK642 is just as likely as 246KQJA. So, while, in the cases you witnessed, the count deteriorated as the cards where dealt, it was also possible that the count could have improved. In general, the true count (running count divided by cards remaining) is expected to stay the same as the cards are dealt out (this is called the True Count Theorum).
All that being said, the main effect multiple players has is to slow down the game, meaning you will win less money in the long run. There are also other effects having to do with card eating and number of rounds played before the shuffle. You can read about this in the book, Blackjack Attack.